I Waited 96 Years: Celebrating Equality in Voting

Mira Berenbaum

Social Media Director

96 years ago, women did not have the right to vote. Fast forward to today and Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee to be President of the United States.

A few weeks ago, Sarah Benor, a friend of Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer, posted a picture on Facebook of her grandmother holding her absentee ballot. Estelle Liebow Schultz, Benor’s grandmother, wrote about how she was born before women had the right to vote and how much it means to her to vote for Hillary Clinton. The photo got over 1600 likes, and everyone was amazed by her story.

Tom Fields-Meyer, Rabbi Shawn’s husband, saw this as an opportunity for a website to celebrate stories of women who were born before women had the right to vote, and who are now voting for a woman for president. Requests on Facebook and Twitter connected them to four such women who submitted photos and biographies, and they subsequently launched the website. Benor’s mother, Roberta Schultz Benor, manages the publicity and Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer, who has a passion for website design, came onto the team as the webmaster.

Since the launch of the website, over 80 women have submitted photos and statements, and the website has over 100,000 views. Their ultimate goal is to reach 200 submissions. I Waited 96 Years has been written about by websites including BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post, as well as national news outlets like CBS, The Washington Post, NBC and ABC. The women on the website range from ages 96 to 105, and live all over the United States.

“The goal of I Waited 96 Years is to share the positive, strong and beautiful message about equality and the importance of voting,” Rabbi Shawn shared. “It is an upbeat and inspiring antidote to a lot of the more toxic and negative messages that have been coming out throughout this election. This, however, is something we are celebrating; this is an achievement for women and an achievement for our country.” Rabbi Shawn also noted, “The most important thing is for Americans of all ages and stages to get involved in the democratic process.”

Here is a slideshow of some of the women’s photos and statements:

Know a woman 96 years or older? Let us know in the comments and submit a photo at iwaited96years.com/submit.

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